Wednesday, February 04, 2009
A friend once said that he hadn’t yet met a potato he didn’t like (you know who you are.) I feel the same way myself – with the exception of the sort of mashed potatoes that manage in one and the same mouthful to be watery/gluey/gritty/crunchy. I live in terror that the low-carb fashion presages the extinction of the potato. I feel the need to start a Potato Fan Club, or a Save the Potato Campaign. The very least I should do is pay attention to the Fun with Potatoes archive, and bring it over to this blog from the defunct Companion Site.
It was all very different in WW II. The specially created ‘Potato Pete’ character promoted himself as an energy food, a protective food and a good soup-maker. He was also used in bread, to eke out precious wheat. The Ministry of Food’s Food Facts Leaflet No. 29 (February 1941) focused on the potato – and, listen to this and weep with nostalgia, you potato lovers! - the Ministry recommended potatoes THREE TIMES A DAY.
"Potatoes help to protect you from illness. Potatoes give you warmth and energy. Potatoes are cheap and home-produced. So why stop at serving them once a day? Have them twice, or even three times – for breakfast, dinner, and supper."
To remind you of the reasons to eat potatoes (including the patriotic), the leaflet provided this jingle:
P’s for Protection Potatoes afford’
O for the Ounces of Energy stored;
T’s for Tasty, and Vitamin rich in;
A’s for the Art to be learned in the kitchen;
T’s for the Transport we need not demand;
O’s for Old England’s Own Food from the land;
E’s for the Energy eaten by you;
S’s for the Spuds that will carry us through.
Potatoes are indeed nutritious. What we do to them often destroys the good stuff in potatoes and adds a whole lot more of the bad stuff. An average-sized baked potato is about 150 gm. Naked except for its own skin, it is virtually fat-free (and you cant say that about any naked human) contains about the same protein as half a glass of milk, the same amount of potassium as a banana, almost half the daily requirement of Vitamin C, and goodly amounts of lots of other vitamins and minerals. All this in return for about 26 gms of of carbohydrate (only 1 gm of which is in the form of sugars), lots of bowel-friendly fibre, and a total of 110 calories. Sounds like a good set of trade-offs to me.
A couple of weeks ago I gave you the recipe for Potato Coffee Scones from this leaflet. Today, to assist you to eat potatoes three times a day, I give you this recipe – adaptable to any meal as it points out, and I am sure would adapt well to other fillings. Maybe finger food for your next party? At least they are not deep-fried.
Surprise Potato Balls.
Cook 1 lb. potatoes and beat well with a fork. Add a large grated carrot, 1 teaspoonful chopped parsley and some salt and pepper. Use a little milk, if necessary, to bind the mixture, but do not make it wet. Form into balls. Make a hole in eat, drop in a small teaspoonful of sweet pickle, and close the hole. Roll the balls in browned breadcrumbs, place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven for 15 to 20 minutes. These are good for any and every meal.
Quotation for the Day …
Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food,
For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good,
but don't forget the potatoes.
John Tyler Pettee, 'Prayer and Potatoes'